Michel Étienne Descourtilz

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Michel Étienne Descourtilz (25 November 1777, Boiste near Pithiviers – 1835, Paris), was a French physician, botanist and historiographer of the Haitian Revolution. He was the father of illustrator Jean-Théodore Descourtilz, with whom he sometimes collaborated.[1]

Plate of a pineapple from Descourtiz, 1877

In 1799, after completing his medical studies he traveled to Charleston, South Carolina and Santiago, Cuba, arriving in Haiti on 2 April.[2] Despite a passport from Toussaint Louverture and serving as physician with the forces of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, he was in constant danger.[3] His plant collections were mostly from between Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien and along the Artibonite River.[2] All his natural history collections and many drawings were destroyed during the course of the revolution.[citation needed] In 1803 he returned to France, worked as a physician in a hospital at Beaumont and served as president of the Paris Linnean Society.[2]

As a taxonomist he circumscribed the genus Nauchea (family Fabaceae).[4]


Sources and references[edit]

  1. ^ Jean Théodore Descourtilz data.BnF.fr
  2. ^ a b c Symb. antill by Ignatz Urban
  3. ^ BnF.Gallica (biography in French)
  4. ^ Nauchea Descourt. Tropicos
  5. ^ IPNI.  Descourt.

External links[edit]